Roza Salih

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Roza Salih campaigning in Glasgow in 2018 for equal access to abortion in Ireland

Roza Salih (born 1989) is a human rights activist based in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2005, at the age of 15, she co-founded the Glasgow Girls with fellow pupils from Drumchapel High School.[1] The Glasgow Girls campaigned to stop the UK Border Agency carrying out dawn raids and detaining and then deporting children, successfully preventing the deportation of their school friend, Agnesa Murselaj, a Roma from Kosovo.[2] Salih, who was born in Southern Kurdistan, is a co-founder of Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan and an election candidate for the Scottish National Party.


Roza Salih arrived in Scotland in 2001 to seek asylum. Her family had fled Kurdistan in Northern Iraq after her grandfather and two uncles had been executed for opposing Saddam Hussein, who was still in power.[3]


She attended Drumchapel High School, and then graduated with honors in Law and Politics from Strathclyde University in 2013 where she was also Vice President for Diversity and Advocacy for the Students Association. Elected to the National Union of Students’ International Students Committee and the NUS UK Student trustee board.[4]

Political activism[edit]

Whilst still a pupil at Drumchapel High School, Roza Salih campaigned with school friends to stop the UK Border Agency carrying out dawn raids, taking school children to detention and then deporting them. As well as lobbying the Scottish Government and the Home Office, the Glasgow Girls, as they became known, developed an early warning system with friends and neighbours to alert one another about raids by immigration officers.[5]

In 2016 she worked with the Scottish Refugee Council and Education Strategy Commission to campaign for funding for scholarships for asylum seekers.[4]

In 2017, she stood as a Scottish National Party candidate in the Glasgow City Council election, but was not elected.[6] She is a part of Social Justice Commission of the SNP and is currently campaigning for the election to the Scottish parliament in 2021, [7] and is in the running for the SNP nomination for Clydebank and Milngavie.[8]

She is co-founder of Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan.[9] and has travelled to Kurdish regions in Turkey as part of a delegation of trade unionists and human rights activists.

Work life[edit]

She works in the constituency office of Chris Stephens, the Scottish National Party MP for Glasgow South West.[3]

Awards and recognition[edit]

A musical of the Glasgow Girls was co-produced by The National Theatre of Scotland, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Citizens Theatre and Richard Jordan Productions. Written by David Greig and directed and composed by Cora Bissett, it premiered at The Citizens Theatre in Glasgow in 2012.[10] In the original 2012 cast, the part of Roza Salih was played by Amiera Darwish.[11]

In 2017 she was honoured by the Saltire Society as an Outstanding Woman of Scotland.[12]


  1. ^ Cassidy, Peter (2016-08-08). "People were angry, saying 'these are our weans': The Glasgow Girls 15 years on". glasgowlive. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  2. ^ "Glasgow Girls | Scottish Refugee Council". Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  3. ^ a b "Meet Roza Salih, the inspiring woman hoping to become Scotland's first elected asylum seeker". iNews. 2017-02-03. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  4. ^ a b "Glasgow girl Roza Salih has a new cause – fighting for independence". The Herald (Glasgow). Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  5. ^ McLean, Pauline (2012-10-31). "Glasgow girls' protest inspires musical". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  6. ^ "🎥 Glasgow City Council candidate Roza Salih on why she is standing for council". The SNP. Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  7. ^ "'Glasgow Girl' Roza Salih sets sight on Holyrood 2021 election bid". The National (Scotland). Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  8. ^ Webster, Laura (19 September 2020). "'Glasgow Girl' Roza Salih aims to be first refugee elected to Holyrood". Evening Times. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  9. ^ "30 Under 30: Roza Salih - YWCA Scotland | The Young Women's Movement". Retrieved 2018-05-19.
  10. ^ McLean, Pauline (2012-10-31). "Glasgow girls' protest inspires musical". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  11. ^ "Glasgow Girls - National Theatre Scotland". National Theatre Scotland. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  12. ^ "Meet Scotland's 'outstanding' women". BBC News. 2017-03-07. Retrieved 2018-05-19.